Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information, including hours

Collection

All

Search

Western art

Photography

View More:


Title

Untitled (portrait of a man with pipe holding a sculpture)

1870-1895


Artist

Robert Hellis

United Kingdom

1835 - 1895


About

Robert Hellis was born in Clerkenwell, Islington in 1835 and founded a photographic studio in Notting Hill in 1870. Here he established a commercial photographic enterprise that was perpetuated by two of his three sons long after his death in 1895. Hellis & Sons opened more branches than any other studio in 19th century London before being dissolved in 1928. It was Robert Hellis’s wife Gertrude, however, who overtook the original studio after his death while his sons oversaw the other premises. Hellis was also well known as a professor of magic séances. He would perform these séances as entertainment during social events in London.

A cabinet card, like this one, is a stiff piece of card of approximately 15.9 x 10.8 cm that bore an attached photographic print (either albumen, gelatin silver or carbon) and the photographer or studio’s name and insignia. They functioned as a larger format carte de visite, a photographic calling card invented in 1854 by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi. Carte de visite technology heralded the mass dissemination of photographic imagery as they could be reproduced easily. The larger cabinet cards became popular in the 1870s and were circulated amongst social acquaintances like the then ubiquitous cartes. The popularity of the medium, however, waned in the 1890s. This cabinet card depicts a man in an artist studio surrounded by sculpture and handling a maquette.


Details


Date

1870-1895


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

albumen photograph, cabinet card, laid down on original printed presentation mount


Dimensions

9.1 x 12.1 cm image/sheet


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Accessioned 2006


Location

Not on display


Accession number

140.2006


Artist information

Robert Hellis

Works in the collection

1


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


  • Imprint, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Feb 2016–18 May 2016